9:00 AM EDT, March 12, 2013
As someone who has struggled with mental illness for over 20 years, I could closely relate to Kevin Rector's article about students having difficulty finding and getting mental health services at their colleges and universities ("Students struggle for mental health services," March 8). I applaud this article, as it brings to light the real need for mental health services for college students.
I was in the same boat, but I struggled alone. I relate to what many of the students in the article mentioned — a lack of information on mental health, the limited education of the professionals involved, trouble getting an appointment. In the years since I was in college, and through trial and error, I have found local places that are trained in mental health issues and that can help.
For students that need help, they can call National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Metropolitan Baltimore (410-435-2600) and speak to a staff member. This person will listen, empathize and provide some options for assistance. Also, Sheppard Pratt Health System has walk-ins; if things are getting that bad one can come to Sheppard Pratt or walk into a local hospital emergency room. Also, one might get involved in a local chapter of Active Minds. By taking a pro-active approach to the mentioned options, you are standing up for yourself and helping to eradicate the stigma so often associated with mental illness.
Mental illness doesn't take a break until you get an appointment. It's a daily, hourly struggle. The above are suitable options for students to take advantage of when struggling with mental illness.
Kate Glorioso, Baltimore
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun